A recent study found a surge in the number of Black Lung Disease reports throughout Eastern Kentucky, Southwest Virginia, and parts of Central Appalachia, according to an article published in the Lexington Herald Leader in May of this year. Black Lung Disease is considered a job-related illness as it mainly impacts those who have worked in the coal mines. If you have been diagnosed with Black Lung Disease and you believe it is due to your job working in the coal mines, we have experienced attorneys who can help you get the justice you deserve.
What is Black Lung Disease
Black Lung Disease, also known as coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, occurs when you inhale coal dust over long periods. This condition generally only impacts coal miners. Coal dust settles in your airways and lungs and can lead to inflammation, which causes scarring. Scarring reduces the amount of air the lungs can take in, leading to additional damage. Over time, your lungs can turn black, hence the name Black Lung Disease.
Not everyone who works in the coal mines develops this disease. It takes years for this condition to occur and for symptoms to show up, so many do not even show symptoms until retirement. Symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath and chest tightness.
What to do if You Have Black Lung Disease
There is no cure for black lung disease. Once your lungs are scarred, all you can do is take part in treatments to help ease the symptoms. Because this is a work-related illness, you might be due financial benefits through your state’s workers’ compensation system. Once you are diagnosed you need to immediately notify your employer and file a claim through a workers’ compensation system. You should also look into the federal Black Lung Program in which you could qualify for benefits if you are unable to return to your normal position due to the diagnosis.
Unfortunately, getting benefits from the state or federal government from a Black Lung Disease diagnosis can prove to be difficult. In 2018, Kentucky passed a law only allowing a few pulmonologists to diagnose black lung disease. The problem is that the doctors tend to work for coal companies. As you can imagine, it is in their best interest to keep the number of black lung disease diagnoses low.
Defective Dust Mask Cases
Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed alleging dust masks worn in coal mines were defective and failed to provide adequate protection. The masks include 3M masks, MSA Dustfoe masks, and American Optical masks. Injuries include black lung, emphysema, and other pulmonary impairments.
Contact a Dust Mask Attorney
If you want to learn more about dust mask cases, contact Roberts Law Office today. It is free to talk to an attorney. We will ask you some questions to see if you have a dust mask case and if so, we will file a lawsuit on your behalf. We have represented hundreds of coal miners in dust mask lawsuits. Don’t wait. Call today.